China: Vietnam Rammed Our Ships 1.4K Times

Dispute over islands cites 1974 textbook
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 9, 2014 10:24 AM CDT
China: Vietnam Rammed Our Ships 1.4K Times
In this Thursday, May 15, 2014 photo, a Chinese coast guard vessel, left, and a Vietnamese coast guard vessel sail in waters claimed by both countries in the South China Sea.   (AP Photo/Hau Dinh)

The dispute between China and Vietnam, fueled by the contentious location of a Chinese oil rig, is heating up: Now China is accusing Vietnamese ships of ramming its vessels well over a thousand times during the last month, the BBC reports. "As of 5pm on 7 June, there were as many as 63 Vietnamese vessels in the area at the peak ... ramming the Chinese government ships for a total of 1,416 times," China says in a statement, which notes the ramming began shortly after it moved the rig on May 2. And the country is defending that movement to a spot that it says "falls well within China's sovereignty and jurisdiction."

China's drilling is occurring far closer to its own islands, the Paracels, than to Vietnam's mainland, China claims. Trouble is, Vietnam also claims the Paracel Islands. Among China's justifications for its claim: It raised a flag on the islands in 1911, and a 1974 Vietnamese 9th-grade textbook allegedly says they're Chinese, the BBC notes. For its part, Vietnam last week called on the US to "make further practical acts" to settle the disagreements "in accordance with international law." (Read more China stories.)

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